Skip 
Navigation Link

1215 South Walnut Ave.
Demopolis, AL 36732 map map 

Access to Care: 800.239.2901

Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Is FDA Taking Close Enough Look at Fast-Tracked Drugs?Steep Price Hikes Led to Drop in Use of 2 Heart Drugs at U.S. HospitalsAPA: Medical Discrimination Based on Size Stresses Patients2 of 3 U.S. Patients Keep Unused Painkillers After SurgeryMedical Reality Catches Up to Science FictionFDA Looks to Reduce Nicotine in CigarettesAHA Hands-Only CPR Training Kiosks Available at More Airports$100 Sweetens the Pot for a ColonoscopyJust a Few Vaccine Refusers Could Endanger ManyASCO Addresses Cancer Drug PricingHigh Court Rules Against Interstate Medical LiabilityFewer U.S. Dollars Spent on Cardiac Arrest Research: StudyPainkiller Prescriptions More Prone to Errors If HandwrittenFDA Panel OKs What May Soon Be First Gene Therapy Approved in U.S.Walking Rates Are Key to a Country's Obesity LevelsDocs Should Counsel Even Healthy People on Diet, Exercise, Experts SayHealth Service Use Unchanged From 1996-1997 to 2011-2012Easier Colon Exam Boosts Screening, But Insurers May Not PayMore U.S. Patients Are Recording Their Doctor VisitsMedication Mistakes Have Doubled in U.S. Since 2000: StudyMarket Competition Linked to Change in Generic Drug PricesBlood Shortage Prompts Call for DonationsBullying Takes Financial Toll on U.S. School DistrictsPoll Finds Seniors Struggling With Drug Costs Don't Seek HelpMany U.S. Teens Still Denied 'Morning After' Pill at PharmaciesOlder Americans Struggling With Drug Costs Don't Ask for HelpDoctors Urged to Take Care With Electronic CommunicationsClimate Change Likely to Widen Gap Between Rich, Poor in U.S.: StudyFDA Seeks to Increase Number of Generic Drugs on Market3 Simple Steps Might Reduce Opioid OD DeathsPhysician Attitude Important Factor in Patients Switching PCPMany Adverse Events Related to Cosmetics Go UnreportedStudy Highlights the Beauty Industry's Ugly SideMedicaid Cuts Tied to Delayed Breast Cancer DiagnosesPrimary Care Pharmacy Model Attractive to Patients1991-2014 Saw Minimal Change in Health Spending Per StateLegalized Pot May Lead to More Traffic CrashesMany Doctors Silent on Cost of Cancer CareGroup Urges Tougher Limits on Chemical in Shampoos, Cosmetics18 Percent Increase Projected in Primary Care Demand by 2023Why Patients Leave the Hospital Against Doctor's OrdersRaise the Smoking Age to 21? Most Kids Fine With ThatComprehensive Audiologic Care Feasible in Free Clinic ModelMany Tanning Salons Defy Legal Age Limits on UsersLifesaving Drugs From Pfizer in Short Supply: FDALeading U.S. Doctors' Group Takes Aim at Rising Drug PricesU.S. Hospitals Still Prescribe Too Many Antibiotics: StudyFDA Puts Brakes on Rule Requiring New 'Nutrition Facts' LabelCardiac Arrest? Someday, Drones May Come to Your RescueSAMHSA: 9.8 Million U.S. Adults Have Serious Mental Illness
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

Black, Hispanic Americans Less Likely to See a Neurologist

HealthDay News
by -- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
Updated: May 17th 2017

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, May 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Black and Hispanic people are less likely than white people to make an appointment to see a neurologist, according to a new U.S. study.

Researchers found that black people with conditions that affect the brain, such as Parkinson's disease and stroke, tend to be treated in the emergency room and end up in the hospital more often than their white peers.

"Our findings demonstrate that there are substantial racial and ethnic disparities in neurologic health care access and utilization in the United States," said study author Dr. Altaf Saadi, from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"These disparities are concerning, not only because racial and ethnic minorities represent 28 percent of Americans, but because all Americans should have equitable access to health care regardless of who they are, where they live, or what resources they have," Saadi added in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data compiled on close to 280,000 people over the course of eight years. Of these people, almost 17,000 reported having a neurologic disorder, such as Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or other brain-related conditions.

The findings showed that more than 3,300 people had cerebrovascular disease, over 2,200 had epilepsy, almost 400 had multiple sclerosis and close to another 400 were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The researchers identified nearly 6,000 people who made about 13,700 outpatient visits to neurologists.

After excluding Asians and people of other races who only accounted for a tiny fraction of those involved, the investigators found Hispanic people were 40 percent less likely than whites to schedule an appointment with a neurologist.

Meanwhile, black people were 30 percent less likely to see one of these specialists. This was even after the researchers considered other factors that could play a role in access to health care, such as income and insurance status.

Once the researchers honed in on the patients with brain conditions, they found black Americans were more likely to have been treated in the emergency room. Black people were also admitted to the hospital about twice as often as white people and Hispanics.

Medical expenses were also much higher for black patients, with costs reaching $1,485 per person, compared to $599 for white patients.

"Previous research has shown that having neurologists involved in the care of people with neurologic conditions reduces serious side effects and hospitalizations for acute problems," Saadi said. "So, unequal access to outpatient care may be resulting in unnecessary medical and financial costs."

More research is needed to understand why these racial and ethnic disparities exist, but the study authors speculated they could stem from different cultural beliefs, attitudes about getting older and disease, as well as language barriers. Local access to a neurologist could also play a role, they added.

"Solutions could include initiatives to educate hospital staff about bias and multicultural care, increase the proportion of underrepresented minorities in the field of neurology, improve patient education about neurologic disorders and change institutional practices to provide more equitable care," Saadi suggested.

The findings were published online May 17 in the journal Neurology.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about health disparities.